Domhnall Gleeson is an Irish actor who has starred in several popular films and TV shows over the past decade, including the Harry Potter series, Ex Machina, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
However, despite his success, Gleeson has faced some backlash and hatred from certain groups online. Here is an in-depth look at some of the main reasons why some people dislike Domhnall Gleeson.
His Privileged Background
One of the most common criticisms of Gleeson is that he comes from an extremely privileged background, which gave him an advantage in breaking into acting.
He is the son of renowned Irish actor Brendan Gleeson, and many believe his industry connections helped launch his career. This has led some to accuse Gleeson of nepotism and claim he didn’t have to struggle like less connected actors.
Nepotism in Hollywood
- Nepotism is extremely common in Hollywood and helps many young actors get their “big break”
- Famous examples include Ben Stiller, Charlie Sheen, Drew Barrymore, and many more
- This can understandably breed resentment from those without family ties to the industry
Gleeson’s Early Acting Background
- Gleeson attended exclusive private schools growing up
- He landed his first acting role at age 17 in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York alongside Leonardo DiCaprio
- Critics argue this illustrates the leg up Gleeson had from his father Brendan’s reputation
While it’s true that Gleeson benefited from industry connections, it’s difficult to sustain a career in acting without actual talent. He has won praise from critics for his abilities, regardless of his background.
His “Posh” Persona
Another source of dislike for Gleeson stems from his refined, eloquent speaking style that comes across as upper-class or privileged. Some perceive Gleeson as a ” posh” snob.
His Prestigious Education
- Gleeson graduated from Trinity College in Dublin, an elite institution founded in 1592
- He later attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA)
- These experiences contributed to his polished speech and diction
Film and TV Roles
- Gleeson has played aristocratic or upper-class characters in many films like Anna Karenina and Peter Rabbit
- Even when playing ordinary roles, his posh delivery shines through
- This persona rubs some people the wrong way
While Gleeson can’t help his prestigious education or upbringing, he could consider a wider variety of roles to showcase more range. But disliking someone for sounding posh or refined seems misguided.
Overexposure in Major Franchises
Domhnall Gleeson has appeared in several of the biggest entertainment franchises in recent years, causing some fans to complain about seeing him too much.
Appearing in Harry Potter and Star Wars
- Gleeson had key roles in Harry Potter (Bill Weasley) and Star Wars (General Hux)
- Both are hugely popular franchises with devoted fanbases
- Some fans resent an actor playing major roles across different franchises
Other Big Roles
- He was in Black Mirror, one of Netflix’s most acclaimed shows
- Played Caleb in hit sci-fi film Ex Machina
- Voiced a rabbit in Peter Rabbit, based on the beloved children’s book
While Gleeson is undoubtedly prolific, fans may appreciate him more if he balanced blockbusters with lesser-known indie films. Too much exposure can lead to backlash.
He Lacks Charisma
One of the harshest criticisms against Gleeson is that he lacks leading man charisma and comes across as bland. This hurts him in major roles that demand magnetism.
Uninspiring Lead Performances
- As General Hux in Star Wars, Gleeson was decidedly one-note and unmemorable
- Failed to make his Ex Machina character Caleb compelling or interesting
- Doesn’t command the screen like contemporaries Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, etc.
Miscast as a Romantic Lead
- Opposite Jennifer Lawrence in mother!, their relationship fell flat
- Lacked chemistry with Emily Blunt in sci-fi romance The Adjustment Bureau
- Doesn’t convincingly portray romantic yearning or sexuality
While charisma is subjective, Gleeson seems better suited for oddball character parts that allow his eccentricities to shine through. He hasn’t shown leading-man magnetism.
Perceived Lack of Range
With his distinctive posh accent and clipped delivery, some believe Gleeson suffers from a lack of acting range. He hasn’t fully escaped comparisons to his father Brendan.
Difficulty with Accents
- Has struggled to authentically portray American accents in several films
- Irish brogue seeps through many attempts at dialect change
- Can limit his ability to disappear into varied roles
- Often plays cerebral, offbeat characters like Ex Machina’s Caleb
- Hasn’t taken on many gritty, daring parts thus far
- Needs more diversity on his resume to showcase adaptability
While Gleeson has achieved success in the types of parts he’s best known for, expanding his range could earn him more respect and shake off notions he’s a one-trick pony.
Some interviewers and fans have accused Gleeson of coming across as arrogant or dismissive, which ruins his likeability. However, this perception may be somewhat unfair.
Dry Wit Mistaken for Condescension
- Gleeson has an understated, sarcastic sense of humor
- His deadpan comedy can translate as boredom or disdain
- British sensibilities may not line up with American interview formats
Introvert Mislabeled as Snob
- He is by all accounts thoughtful, polite, and professional
- As an introvert, he can seem reserved or distant
- His shyness shouldn’t be misconstrued as disrespect
Balancing Confidence and Charm
- Gleeson walks a fine line between off-putting pretentiousness and endearing humbleness
- Arrogance is subjective – some readings of him may miss the mark
- More charm could help offset any impressions of conceit
Judgements about his arrogance seem exaggerated. While he may benefit from adjusting his humor and showing more extroverted energy at times, there are no accounts of actual rude behavior.
In summary, Domhnall Gleeson faces dislike from some groups due to his privileged background, posh persona, blockbuster overexposure, perceived lack of charisma and range, and impressions of arrogance. However, much of the hatred seems disproportionate to reality.
While there are reasonable critiques about relying too heavily on connections, Gleeson has proven genuine talent over the years. Showing more charisma and expanding his roles could broaden his appeal. But the severity of the backlash suggests other factors are at play, like resentment of nepotism and people who sound refined.
With continued care and nuance in his acting and public persona, Gleeson can potentially rehabilitate his image over time. The question remains whether the intense hatred stems partly from valid criticism, or reflects observers’ own biases and projections. The truth likely rests somewhere in the middle.
Table Comparing Domhnall Gleeson’s Acclaimed and Panned Roles
|Star Wars Sequel Trilogy
|The Little Stranger
|Never Let Me Go
|The Adjustment Bureau
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did people dislike Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux?
Many Star Wars fans disliked Gleeson’s portrayal of General Hux because they found him one-dimensional, overly posh, and lacking in menace or gravitas compared to the scenery-chewing villains of the original trilogy. His screaming speeches felt more comedic than chilling.
What films show Domhnall Gleeson’s lack of romantic chemistry?
Films like About Time, Mother!, Never Let Me Go, and Anna Karenina hint at Gleeson’s weaker skills as a romantic lead. He lacked convincing sexual charisma opposite co-stars like Rachel McAdams, Jennifer Lawrence, and Alicia Vikander.
How has nepotism helped Domhnall Gleeson’s career?
As the son of actor Brendan Gleeson, Domhnall benefited from industry connections early on. His first credit was in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York alongside Leonardo DiCaprio when he was just 17 years old. This access is harder for actors without famous parents.
What were Domhnall Gleeson’s posh roles that cemented his refined image?
Gleeson played more aristocratic roles earlier in his career, in films like Anna Karenina, Never Let Me Go, and Becoming Jane. Even when playing ordinary roles, his polished Received Pronunciation accent comes through.
Why do some perceive Domhnall Gleeson as arrogant in interviews?
Gleeson’s subtle sarcasm can translate as arrogance or boredom in American interviews. As an introvert, he can seem overly reserved and distant. He is not outwardly rude but his shyness is sometimes misconstrued as disdain.
What awards has Domhnall Gleeson been nominated for?
Gleeson earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in The Lieutenant of Inishmore. He was nominated for a BAFTA for Ex Machina. His performance in About Time earned him several Best Actor nominations from awards groups.
What was Domhnall Gleeson’s role in the Harry Potter movies?
Domhnall Gleeson played Bill Weasley, the eldest brother of Ron Weasley, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2. Bill was attacked by werewolf Fenrir Greyback and later fought in the Battle of Hogwarts.
How can Domhnall Gleeson improve his likeability and public perception?
Gleeson could select a wider variety of roles to expand his range, show more extroverted charm in interviews, and balance blockbusters with critically praised indies. Avoiding overexposure and nepotism claims would help diminish potential resentment from fans.
What upcoming projects is Domhnall Gleeson part of?
Gleeson will star in films like The Menu, Empire of Light, and The Patient in late 2022 and 2023. He is attached to several TV projects for HBO Max, Netflix, and Peacock as well in the coming years.